The Feedbooks site and the Stanza e-book reader, two names familiar to TeleRead regulars, show up in an upbeat International Herald Tribune feature on e-books. So does the International Digital Publishing Forum.
"A survey published in conjunction with the Frankfurt Book Fair last month showed that 40 percent of book publishing professionals thought digital sales, regardless of the format, would surpass the ink-on-paper kind by 2018," the Trib’s Eric Pfanner notes. Let’s hope this isn’t just boosterism in the tradition of the old dotcom boom. 2018 is just a decade away.
Feedbooks, Stanza and IDPF mentions
On Feedbooks: "…there are limits to what readers can find… The Orwell book ‘1984,’ for example, is available; the latest best sellers are not. That is because Project Gutenberg archives mostly books that are in the public domain, meaning their copyrights have expired." As I recall, 1984 is still under copyright in the Bono-hobbled U.S., though not in France and many other places, including Australia, where a local PG exists. Hello, Barack Obama? Time for Congress to kill Bono if you want U.S. tech companies to be more competitive? It could be legally problematic for me even to point to Feedbooks’ file of 1984.
On Stanza, with mention of the IDPF: "About half a million people in more than 50 countries have downloaded Stanza, an application that lets them read e-books on the iPhone, said Michael Smith, executive director of the International Digital Publishing Forum in Toronto. ‘The adoption is happening,’ he said. ‘It’s not theory. It’s happening.’" Perhaps Marc at Lexcycle can update us on Stanza’s numbers—the total might be even higher now.
And some tidbits: "Penguin this summer joined Match.com, a creator of online dating services, to set up a site dedicated to helping book lovers hook up." Site is here. In addition, Penguin is considering new biz models such as subscription plans for access to bestsellers, or ads in books for those wanting them at reduced prices or perhaps for free. Good! The more options for readers, the better.
Euro digi library to launch Nov. 20
Of interest, also, in the Trib, is a little reference to "a group of European national libraries and archives plans to open Europeana, an online database of two million books and other cultural and historical items, including films, paintings, newspapers and sound recordings. Letters from Mozart to his friends, from the Austrian National Library in Vienna? They’re there. Early printings of his work, from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France? They are, too." Here’s the link to Europeana, which will "launch on 20 November."
"Europe’s libraries alone contain more than 3.5 billion books, but only about one percent of archival material is available in digital form," an announcement says. Other sites mentioned are the European Library and the World Digital Library.
Related: More from the New York Times, a sister paper of the Trib, on the Google book agreement with publishers: Google signs a deal to e-Publish out-of-print books. Also see Galley Cat’s take on the Trib piece.